Spain 2 France 0
Strength, desire, application, passion and a will to win: just some of the things totally missing from France's risible attempts to by-pass Spain and reach the Euro 2012 semi-final. In fact, this match was a total Saturday night bore-fest with Spain taking a 19th minute lead they didn't look like losing, content to weave passing patterns across the midfield and invite the French to take the ball from them - something the French seem disinclined to do.
During the qualifying groups, I managed to get a bit of a debate going following my blog on 'Who's Playing Football' (Day 5), in which England seemed to get tarred with the tedious brush, with fans clamouring that football should be entertainment. That being the case it was fascinating to see that even a Spanish team playing with flair and consumate skill can't make a game interesting when the other side don't want to play - and I'm not talking about defending in depth, or not having the skill to compete but just a lack of interest in making a game of it.
France started with two right backs, so I guess it was almost inevitable that the Spanish opener should come down that side of the field. Iniesta got forward, Jordi Alba got the better of Debuchy and the cross came in to the unmarked Alonso to head down and past Lloris. Alonso's marker, Florent Malouda was still 30 yards back. It said it all.
The rest of the game went by in a dazed and somnolent blur until the referee gave Spain a penalty in the 90th minute after substitute Pedro was bought down by Anthony Reveillere. In truth, Pedro looked unbalanced and the penalty was probably harsh but, frankly, no-one cared and I suspect the Italian ref gave it so he could stop himself from falling asleep. He did better than me, I'm afraid to say.
Let's hope for all our sanity that tomorrow night's game is better. I suspect somehow it will be.